Bret Pettichord


I work in the engineering group at Convio, where I use Watir to automate testing.

Consulting & Speaking

I am not currently pursuing opportunities for consulting, speaking or training.

Featured Writing

Read my blog for short, recent essays on various topics.

"Agile is All About Feedback." People often think that Agile is faster, but Agile isn't faster all by itself. In the end, it speeds delivery providing a system for accellerating feedback. If you don't use the feedback, or think you don't need it, then there is no point to Agile.

"Watir and Selenium", a description of the two leading open-source tools for web testing and an explanation for why I've contributed to both.

"Homebrew Test Automation", complete lecture notes to my full-day seminar on open-source test tools, including how to use them to build a homebrew testing framework customized for your software. Explains how testing insights from Extreme Programming can be used by testers at large. Includes slides and detailed notes.

Agile Testing Challenges, a talk describing strategies for overcoming common challenges that testers face on agile development projects.

"Where are the Testers in XP?", a column that explores how testers need to prove their value when programmers start to take on testing responsibilities for themselves.

"Design for Testability, Agile Testing, and Testing Processes ," an interview in Rational's e-zine, The Rational Edge. Describes how testers and developers can work together for mutual benefit.

"Agile Testing," a talk which discusses how testing is different with Extreme Programming and other agile methods and the role that testers can play.

Popular Writing

"Four Schools of Software Testing", Describes how the Context-Driven school of software testing contrasts with the analytic, factory and quality schools.

Lessons Learned in Software Testing Lessons Learned in Software Testing , by Cem Kaner, James Bach and Bret Pettichord. Ed Yourdon calls it a fresh, provocative look at what goes on in the 'real world' of software testing -- guarenteed to make you rethink most of your assumptions and traditional 'theories' of how testing really ought to be done. (2002) 

"Design for Testability," Catalogs software features that have made software easier to test. (October 2002).

"Hey Vendors, Give Us Real Scripting Languages ." Explains the problems with the crummy scripting languages used by many testing tools. Introduced the term "vendorscript".(Feb 2001)

"Testers and Developers Think Differently. " Describes the different skills and attitudes that testers and developers each bring to projects. (Jan 2000)

"Seven Steps to Test Automation Success. " A road map for avoiding the major obstacles of test automation. (Nov 1999)

Software Testing Hotlist . A list of resources for professional software testers available on the web. Since 1995 it has been regularly listed as one of the top 10 websites on software testing.

Complete list of publications


Last updated: 19 August 2009   |   Copyright 2009 Bret Pettichord